Voting for third parties is political suicide - Hakeem

Minorities must refrain from casting their votes to third parties or proxies of the main candidates as it is suicidal for minority rights and aspirations, Leader of Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) and Minister Rauff Hakeem said in Kinniya, Trincomalee.

He was addressing a political meeting in Kinniya, Trincomalee this week, seeking support for New Democratic Front (NDF) Presidential Candidate Sajith Premadasa.

He said minority communities should not make a decision to cast their votes to any third party because of their frustration or distrust on the main parties. “Such a decision will end up in utter wastage of their valuable votes and also give ample chances for the victory of the opposition party. Therefore, minority communities must think about their own welfare and refrain from making such ill-informed decisions,” he said.

Minister Hakeem further said that after the Easter Sunday terrorist attack in April this year, Muslims had to encounter all sorts of threats, humiliations and abuses that pushed them into an insecure ghetto. He said Muslim leaders had to face various communal minded-pressures and threats from all corners that made them virtually immobile for quite some time.

Minister Hakeem urged Muslims to think whether they would dare to forget all these nightmares faced by them and their families and decide to vote for an unscrupulous party which is believed to have created such an unpleasant situation for the entire Muslim community.“We ought to keep in mind that the oncoming presidential election is going to decide the fate of the entire Muslim community’s future,” he said.

“You know very well that a certain group was behind the complaints made against the Kurunegala Dr. Shafi. But how many of you actually know that the groups that made the false complaint against Doctor Shafi are aligned with our party’s political opponent. This is just an example for the unscrupulous attitude of the rival party who disguise themselves as honest and loyal to the country,” he said. “Under these circumstances, the truth remains that there cannot be a better choice than Sajith Premadasa to decide the fate of the Muslims of this country. That is the reason for our unanimous decision to select him from the United National Party and giving him our fullest support to see that he becomes the next President of this country,” Hakeem said.

Minister Hakeem stated that the Muslim community is proud and relieved that Sajith Premadasa, the son of Ranasinghe Premadasa who took office as President in 1988 from the United National Party, is launched as the Presidential candidate by the same United National Party 31 years later. “We take it as our responsibility to save our nation and look forward to giving Sajith a landslide victory which will be inscribed in golden letters in the history of Sri Lanka,” the Minister said.

He further stated that the Muslim community facing many miseries for several decades has had no redress from any government so far and their situation only got worse. “We have started this new journey in the interest of the minorities with a strong trust of getting the solutions under the leadership of Sajith Premadasa,” he said. “We understand that some of our people have made up their minds to vote for third parties out of frustration or distrust they have on the main parties. This is a ridiculous decision, because if a main party’s candidate is unable to acquire 50 per cent votes, the votes casted to a third candidate will be a total waste. Therefore, the minority community should never make this blunder and be misled by proxy candidates,” he said.

“Should a rival candidate wins by your votes cast to the third party, our community will be pushed into a pathetic situation and live in serfdom forever,” he said.

He further said that the Muslims ought not to waste their votes, as it is a suicidal attempt for the community’s well being. Hence, the community must unanimously decide to strengthen Sajith’s Presidential candidacy which will be the one and only way to safeguard our rights and live in peace and harmony in this country.

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